The text "The Peripheral" written in black lettering over a chrome background.

What I’m Reading: The Peripheral by William Gibson

The faux steel book cover for William Gibson's book, The Peripheral.
The Peripheral by William Gibson

I got this book in Kindle format for Christmas 2015 and then promptly forgot about it. Since then I’ve read a number of books, so many that I was getting dangerously close to having to buy another one (or at least, check it out of the library). And then I remembered … my old friend William Gibson’s book was hanging out in the depths of my Kindle, just waiting to be read.

I enjoy Gibson. I read Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive back in college, but I hadn’t read any thing of his since 2003’s Pattern Recognition (an excellent novel that dealt with the sort of deep Internet memes I enjoy). That said … The Peripheral is work. Unlike some of his recent novels, which were set in the near future, The Peripheral is a return to his traditional science fiction roots. It involves a world in which “peripherals” — remote controlled humans — are run by the elite (or at least the well off; I’m a little fuzzy on that) while others make their living playing video games. The writing style is choppy — particularly in the chapters involving the gamers — with words dropped at the beginning of sentences to create a certain disjointed vibe.

It’s been somewhat hard to follow, but I think that’s mostly on me — Gibson’s having fun with his writing style, and I’m reading this book far too late in the day to appreciate it. I’m going to shift to reading a few pages in the morning or at lunch and see if my befuddlement abates.